Jana McClain

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Perry, Eugene C., 1933-

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Geology


Carbonate rocks--Mexico--Yucatán (State); Geology; Stratigraphic--Tertiary; Geology--Mexico--Yucatán (State)


The Tertiary carbonate rocks comprising the peninsula of Yucatan, Mexico, are approximately horizontal, and the upper 5-10 m of these units are strongly altered by karstification. The recent construction of an autopista (turnpike) connecting Kantunil, Yucatan, to Cancun, Quintana Roo, in Yucatan has exposed new, relatively unaltered outcrops that allow reinterpretation of the geology of surface Tertiary carbonate rocks. This study examines these new outcrops and integrates field studies with recently obtained core data to define Tertiary sedimentation patterns on the Yucatan carbonate platform. Re-evaluation of existing data was prompted by the recognition of the Chicxulub impact basin in 1991. One of the most important observations suggests a linked genetic history among the impact basin, the distribution of Oligocene deposits, and the expression of sinkholes (locally known as the Ring of Cenotes) based on striking geometric similarities. Evidence from this study indicates that the depression left by the impact acted as a depositional basin during a Middle Oligocene regression. Deposition within the basin and surface karst formation elsewhere may have influenced the formation of cenotes.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 92-99)


vii, 125 pages




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